Crews from 10 KTown restaurants will face off Saturday to settle the long-disputed question: Who makes the best Korean barbecue in L.A.?

The First Annual Korean BBQ Cook-Off promises to bring a new level of heat and spice to the Los Angeles culinary scene Saturday, Aug. 8, from high noon to sundown (8 p.m.) in the heart of Koreatown.

Sponsored by the non-profit community service organization Korean American Coalition, the friendly bulgogi battle will pit teams from ten local Korean barbecue restaurants and will be judged by the L.A. Weekly’s Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, KCRW’s Good Food hostess Evan Kleiman and L.A. Times food editor Russ Parsons. Plus, an Internet spawned meme that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will show up with a TV newswoman on his arm has been all over Facebook.

Participating in the competition will be popular KTown eateries Beverly Soon Tofu, Byul Dae Po (Star BBQ), Ham Ji Park, Jinju Galbi, Mu Dae Po, Park’s BBQ, So Hyang, and Soowon Galbi. The teams will sell their foods to those in attendance for $10-$15 a plate. The event benefits the KAC.

The K-BBQ showdown will take place in the parking lot of The Summit on Sixth, 3223 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles 90010. Attendees will be able to access the festivities through the Walgreen’s parking  lot at Vermont Ave. and Sixth St.

The competitors will vie for supremacy in five categories:  L.A. galbi (marinated bone-in beef ribs), galbi (marinated boned-out beef ribs), pork ribs, bulgogi (marinated sliced sirloin), and grilled intestine barbecue.

Other food booths will offer spectators (tentative list): shaved ice, beverages, grilled corn, and other delights.

The cook-off schedule features

  • Eating contest involving mystery food, 2 p.m.
  • Cooking demonstration “How to marinate Korean BBQ” by Monica Yang, resident chef at Good Samaritan Hospital, 2:30 p.m.
  • Cook-off competition, 5 p.m.
  • Awards ceremony, 6:30 p.m.

Cosponsoring the event are Yelp, AllKPop.com, California Country Club, the U.S. Census Bureau, The Chadwick Apartment Homes, The Mercury, Coors Brewing Co., Blue Moon Brewery Company, and the Good Samaritan Hospital.

Organizers said they are still seeking volunteers to staff the cook-off. Those willing to serve as volunteers at the charity event should shout out to Allen allen@kacla.org/213.365.5999 x103. Volunteers will receive a fantastic event T-shirt, a free meal and the gratifying feeling of serving the community.

The Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles (KAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1983 to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Korean American community. KAC endeavors to achieve these goals through education, community organizing, leadership development, and coalition-building with diverse communities. Read more here.

KAC has a variety of programs, projects, and advocacy issues stemming from our mission statement. They are as follows:

—Rachel Roh

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